Now that my case is as finished as it’s ever going to be, I’ll be pulling the trigger in February or March on the major parts for my first computer build. To start, I’m going to order only the bare bones parts necessary to get the thing up and running. I figure the less that gets installed at first, the easier it will be to troubleshoot any problems. Once it is running, I can add parts as needed. What I would appreciate is if you all can review the parts I’m going to order to make sure I’m not forgetting anything or doing something stupid.
As I mentioned, I already have the case prepped with case fans and power supply. These are the parts I already have:
Case: Antec Two Hundred V2. I chose this case because of the air filtration (dust is a huge problem where I live), relative ease to seal air leaks (to reduce dust buildup inside), size (I need it to be small due to space restrictions), HDD capacity (up to six), and the 2.5” hot swap bay. I added a 3.5” hot swap bay and put in sound dampening foam inside on the side panels, the top, and the back. It has only two USB 2.0 ports on the front but I will pick up one or four USB 3.0 ports, depending on which internal card reader I add later (one would be plenty).
Optical drive: An el cheapo LG DVD drive I snagged on sale for $15 from NewEgg to use for making up my PSU cables. I’ll use it for installing the OS and, once the system is up and running, replace it with a BD burner.
Fans: Thermaltake AF0018 120mm. Two at the front blowing in through the HDD bay, one intake on the left side panel, and one exhaust at the back (I blocked off the blow hole since I’m trying to get as close to positive pressure ventilation as I can to reduce the amount of dust getting in through the cracks that can’t be sealed; I can always unblock it and replace the fan if needed). Each fan has its own speed control pot and is fed directly from the PSU (I prefer that the case fans run at constant speed; it makes any noise I do hear less noticeable). All intake fans are filtered. I chose these because of the speed control pots (less wiring) and they are reasonably quiet (quieter than the two Antec fans that came with the case).
PSU: Corsair HX750W (older style). I chose this one because of its reputation, seven year warranty, size (plenty of overhead for expansion), and it’s semi-modular to make cable management a bit easier.
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB. Just ordered and should be delivered Monday.
HDDs: Western Digital Black WD2002FAEX 2TB for the main data drive (I’ll cannibalize the one from my XP machine; it doesn’t have much use on it).
Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB for video storage drives and back ups (I’m testing the last of them right now; they take about 20 hours each using a USB 2.0 dock and I have two more to go).
I’ll initially have only the black and one green installed once the SSD is up and running. I’ll add greens as needed. Each HDD in the computer has three greens for back ups. I also have a couple of Western Digital Scorpio Blues 160 GB salvaged and reformatted from dead netbooks (they checked out as healthy) to back up the SDD (a third one is in the mail). I also have all the SATA data cables I need.
Monitor: My old 22” HP w2207h. I already have it from my old rig. I’ll upgrade later.
Keyboard: Logitech G110 USB wired (new).
Mouse: Logitech M525 USB wireless (new).
OS: Win 7 Ultimate (retail version; I'll install 64 bit)
These are the parts I will be ordering:
MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V Premium. I chose this board over the Deluxe for the extra two SATA 3.0 ports, more flexibility with the PCI-e sockets, more RAM capacity, and a thunderbolt port. Most of it is overkill right now (especially the thunderbolt port although it can be used as a display port) but I’ll hopefully be future proofed.
CPU: i7-3770K Ivy Bridge. I don’t plan on overclocking it but at least I will have the option should I change my mind. It costs only $20 more than a locked chip.
CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9500. Good reviews and should be small enough to fit in my case (in case the Zalman doesn’t fit, the stock cooler packed with the CPU is Plan B until I can find something else).
TIM: ARCTIC MX4 Thermal Paste. Good reviews and is nonconductive (semi-idiot proof?).
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 Model CML32GX3M4A1600C10B. This is Plan A. It’s not listed in the MOBO’s tested memory but it’s in the same family as the one in Plan B which is on the list.
CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (4 x 4GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 Model CML16GX3M4X1600C8. Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work. I’ll return the one I don’t use.
I didn’t list a video card because I’m still looking. I’ll use the on board video to get me up and running.